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My Dog Ate It! True Tales From High School

Updated on February 16, 2019
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The author has an M.A. in history and German from SWTSU and over 30 years of teaching experience at public high schools.

High School teachers constantly hear the strangest excuses and comments not only from students, but from parents, administrators and colleagues. Educators must find some humor out of the bleakness that is the attempt to educate teenagers if only to survive the ordeal. From angry parents demanding late night meetings to apathetic students refusing to complete assignments, the comic relief from the stress and tedium is therapeutic.

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses.

As students fail to grasp certain concepts, which is certainly normal in every school, they inevitably try to explain their predicament. In doing so, they come up with some of the most hilarious statements. When they forget to do their homework, it gets even worse. Here are the best excuses for not turning in homework:

(From a rural school): "I accidentally left my homework in the deer blind this morning before school."

(From the same rural school): "... couldn't ... we were piggin."

"I didn't have time, I had to do Jessy's Chemistry." (Jessy was her boyfriend)

"I’ve already turned that in. I can’t turn it in again, I’ve deleted it. You don’t need me to do it again, do you? You already know I can do this stuff."

(A new spin on the ole, "my dog ate it"): "My baby sister pooped on my homework."

"My mom has a problem with me doing homework, because she doesn’t believe in science…she’s a Christian."

"It’s hard and I don’t get it and when I do it goes away cuz I got brain problems."

(A student with no concept of irony): "You try waking up and working… it sucks!"

(From a student who refused to do homework): "but, I am really good at drawing dinosaurs."

Crazy student comments

Sometimes, students ask questions for clarification or further enrichment. But more often than not, students just want to hear themselves talk, and when they do, the weirdest things come out! Here are the craziest things ever said by students:

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years." --Mark Twain

"Why do teachers work on the weekends too? They don't have to do anything except try to teach us!"

"Mr. Roberts, you seem smart enough to have a real job."

"Fine. I did smoke a joint before school today; that is what you smell."

"Is Good Friday on a Saturday?"

"Do the Germans have a Fourth of July?"

"So metaphase is when the chromosomes line up...well then...what is menopause?"

While studying how to tell time in a foreign language class, students learn that most of Europe uses "military time" or the 24-hour clock as official time. In response, one confused student asked, "Wouldn't their watches be REALLY BIG?"

Parent comments

Parents also contribute to the chaos, adding their own unique spin to the classroom. They often try to justify the behavior of their children or, at the very least, deflect any perceived misconceptions. Either overheard or at open-house or individual meetings, here are the strangest comments parents have ever made:

"I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think." Socrates

(To a student on their first day): "Do what they tell you and don't cuss them out."

"Why do you sing songs in foreign languages? This is America, you should only sing songs in English and Spanish!"

"Well my daughter is definitely too stupid for this class if you plan to teach college writing and reading skills." Mumbling to herself she continued, "maybe we can try that home-school thing again."

"I don't want my child to major in music...I want them to major in a real subject area."

In a conference about a student being covered in hickeys, her mother condescendingly responded, "I told her about getting them where people could see them."

My child will be in your Spanish 3 class this year. Is this the year they will begin speaking Spanish?

"My son doesn't do well in school because when I had him, my eggs were old."

"If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that." Goethe

Teacher comments

Teachers themselves add to the insanity. More often than not, educators themselves get caught up in the stress and it takes a toll. Generally under constant pressure by parents, students and administrators, humor is the best stress relief. With that said, here are the craziest things ever said by teachers and administrators:

In explaining a classroom management plan to a parent, she responded, "Who do you think you are? God?" The teacher’s quick retort was, "Nope, I’m not that nice or forgiving."

After working with a particularly stubborn student, one over-worked teacher mumbled on the way to class, "I lose an IQ point every time I enter sixth period."

One teacher remembered his interview, where the principal walked into the room and stated, "I have already made up my mind who I am going to hire but you can talk to me anyway."

Another assistant principal, however, wins the award for driving teachers crazy with this: "You seem upset, probably because I've made a lot of big mistakes that make your job more difficult. But you have to understand, I don't really like to work, so I rush through things to get them done. I know I make mistakes when I rush, but, hey, once something's done, who wants to go back and check it over?"

When it comes to academia, it often seems that illogic and insanity rule the day. But the truth is, teaching is a difficult and stressful calling. Not everyone can do it, and not everyone can do it well. But for those that engage our young citizens everyday and force them to learn whether they want to or not, they can look anyone fearlessly in the eyes and proudly state, "I need a raise!"


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